Fifteen Spatulas

Homemade Brioche (Oh glorious buttery Brioche)

There is a fair amount of hype around brioche, and it’s for good reason.  Brioche is a wonderful cross between bread and pastry, with a rich flavor and light texture.  Brioche is very easy to make (and probably the most fun bread I’ve made), but you really need a stand mixer to make it.  There is a LOT of kneading in the mixer, the dough is very wet and sticky, and the butter needs to stay cool.  The good news?  This brioche is a prelude to a recipe I will be posting shortly…brioche french toast!  Mmm.

First you start by making the sponge.

What is a sponge? It’s a little precursor to the dough that adds a deep flavor and a lovely texture to the bread, and is considered the equivalent of adding another rise.

You cover the sponge with flour, and let it sit until the flour cracks:

The sponge is then turned into a dough, and kneaded:

You throw butter into the dough and mix until incorporated:

Start dividing up the dough to put into the loaf pans, and note how beautiful the little yeast bubbles are:

Bake until golden brown and fluffy:

Homemade Brioche

Yield: 3 loaves

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 6 hours


For the Sponge:
1/3 cup warm milk (100 to 110 degrees F)
2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
1 extra large egg
10 oz all purpose flour (2 cups)

For the Dough:
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp sea salt
4 extra large eggs, lightly beaten
7.5 ounces all purpose flour (1.5 cups)
1.5 sticks unsalted butter, at 65-70 degrees


Start with the sponge. You can heat up the milk in a saucepan, or just pop it in the microwave for about 20 seconds. Put the milk, yeast, egg, and 1 cup of flour in your stand mixer's bowl. Mix the ingredients with a spatula until all is blended. Sprinkle over the other cup of flour to cover the sponge, and let it rest uncovered for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, there should be cracks in the flour. The cracks let you know that the yeast is working its magic!

Good, we are done with the sponge. Now, what's the deal with the sponge? It adds a deep flavor and a lovely texture to the bread, and is considered the equivalent of adding another rise to the bread. Now we will turn it into a dough.

Add the sugar, salt, eggs, and 1 cup (5 oz) of your flour to the sponge. Put the bowl in your stand mixer, and using the dough hook, mix on low for 1 minute, until the dough starts to come together. With the mixer still running on low, add in the remaining 2.5 oz of flour (1/2 cup). When the flour has been incorporated, bump the speed up to medium, and mix for 15 minutes. After 10 minutes have passed, the dough should be slapping itself against the side of the bowl. If it's not, add 3 tbsp more of flour. Make sure you don't skimp on kneading the dough for 15 minutes.

Bash out the butter with a bench scraper on a piece of wax paper or plastic wrap so it's soft and pliable (but not melted or greasy), and turn your mixer down to medium low. Add the butter a couple tbsp at a time, waiting until each installment of butter is absorbed before adding the next. And don't be worried if your butter has a hard time incorporating into the dough. It will be fine. When all the butter has been added, bump the speed up to medium high for a minute, then reduce to medium and knead the dough for 5 minutes. The dough should be slapping the bowl again by the end. The dough will be soft and sticky, and may cling a little bit to the sides of the bowl.

Butter a large bowl (I did a 5 qt bowl), and transfer the dough to that bowl, covering the top tightly with plastic wrap. Let it rise at room temperature for 2 hours, until it has doubled in size.

Since yeast tends to clump up, we want to redistribute the yeast. However, we don't want to deflate the dough too much. So very gently, with a spatula, turn the dough upside down and around to redistribute the yeast a little bit. It's fine if it deflates a little bit, just don't purposely bash it down. Cover again with plastic wrap and let it rise in the refrigerator for 7 hours (you could do as short as 4 hours if it rises enough, but longer rising means more flavor, so it's always best to be patient with bread. Believe me, I am an impatient lady, so I know it's hard lol).

With a sharp knife, gently slice your dough into 3 sections. Cut each section into 6 pieces. You may gently roll those pieces into balls, but I chose to leave them sort of square. Place 6 balls in each loaf pan, and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rise for 2 hours.

When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F, and bake for about 30 minutes, until the interior is 200 degrees F on an instant read thermometer. If during the baking process your brioche browns too much, loosely cover the loaves with tin foil. Cool on a baking rack, and enjoy! And make sure you taste some of it when it comes out of the goooooood!

Recipe adapted from Baking with Julia.

19 comments on “Homemade Brioche (Oh glorious buttery Brioche)

  1. Wow, I love brioche and that looks delicious.

  2. YUM! I can’t wait for the french toast :) That dough looks soooo good!

  3. Great recipe! You can actually make brioche without a stand mixer if you just let it proof overnight in the fridge the first time, then let it proof for at least 3 hours in the fridge the second time. This allows the butter in the bread to harden again before baking.

    It’s not the easiest dough to work with by hand because of all of the butter and because the dough is sticky, but it’s possible. I just used to fridge for proofing, and mine came out perfect.

  4. I’ve always been too scared to try brioche but you’ve given me the courage to try it! Thanks for the step-by-step photos. You make it look so easy!

  5. This is the first time i check out this page and it helps me a lot to improve my cooking skills, i tried the other day to make brioche, but it seems the dough didn’t grow at all, i haven’t make brioche for a very long time so kind of forgotten the recipes , i think i mistake the correct messurement of the yeast, seems i never use the dry yeast before , but i will try again with your recipes, thank you very much for sharing Joanne 😛

    • Hi John, thanks for your comment! I’m so glad I can help you learn. Brioche is a little tough but very worth it. Make sure you keep the water at the right temperature so you activate the yeast but don’t kill it off with too high heat water. I always use a thermometer so I can measure it exactly. Good luck!

  6. Hello Joanne !
    I was following Herve on his blog, Hervecuisine, when I saw you with him. I like what Herve makes and I decided to follow you too. Your blog is quite pretty and I was surprised by the brioche you show us. So I’m making it right now and I hope the result will be what I expect which is to look like yours…

    Sorry if my English language isn’t quite well but it is all I can write but I work hard to improve it each day…

    Can I ask you a question ? Is it possible to envoy you one photo when we succeed a recipe you show in your blog ?

    • Hi, welcome! Herve is great isn’t he? Love him. I hope your brioche turns out well, I know that European measurements are quite different and the conversions can be tricky. I’m not sure what envoy a photo means, maybe email? Aside from that your English is very, very good!

      • Hello Joanne,
        I have made your recipe and my brioche looks quite pretty. Now, though it is 2:20 in the morning, I’m waiting the brioche was cool enough to taste it… The measurement isn’t a problem because I bought several items in UK or got another ones through Amazon.

        I live in The South of Spain, though I love France and Herve is an amazing person and I make and succeed all his recipes. He explaines them very clear and his video are very useful.

        Bye and have a good day.

  7. Wow ! My brioche is super good and the texture looks like yours. I re- thank you because I have found the best recipe I needed.

    Now and after to eat one of my little brioches I can go to bed and to have a good dream.

  8. Can this be made a day or two before you want to eat it , does it hold well?

    Thanks, pat

  9. Hi and thanks for all those great recipes.. I am not really sure it moght sound strange to you tho, but at the end I will have 18 pieces right? well since i wasn’t sure and my family could not wait i made like 6!big balls and put them in the loaf . Cant wait for,my possibly exploding broiche

    • Hi Sandy, I don’t think it’s really important to end up with a particular number of pieces, just to get small clumps/balls nestled into the pan that rise up together. Hope it turned out well!

  10. I’ve made this recipe a few times, kneading by hand. It’s a commitment, but not too difficult. 

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